Name: Richard Spedding
Home Town: Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Competition Car: GWR Raptor 2 - Mistral
The early years:
Richard is another competitor who has been around the sport of hillclimbing since a very early age. His Dad Haydn was competing both locally and nationally in his distinctive red E Type Jaguar when he was a young boy. Richard therefore tagged along for the ride to many venues throughout the UK.
This gave Richard a taste of the sport. It was therefore no surprise when he showed an interest in competing himself. As many people have in motorsport, his early steps were taken in karting, mainly at indoor venues. Although not competing in the truest sense of word Richard was hooked and was looking for an opportunity to experience the Hillclimb world that he had been so close to for so many years. At the age of seventeen Richard then persuaded Dad Haydn to let him share the big E Type.
After two or three years with the E Type Richard was looking to move up the ladder. He therefore secured a shared drive in a Clubmans Centaur with a 1300cc engine. Competing mainly at Harewood this move helped Richard cut his competitive teeth. The search for more speed then drew him to his first single seater. A Force was purchased and a standard 1300cc Suzuki engine was fitted out of a scrapped motorbike. Real success followed which resulted in Richard securing the 2009 Harewood FTD Championship with the 1300cc Force. Quite a feat for such a small engined car and something that made others sit up and take notice that the boy from Barnsley had real talent!
With this success behind him Richard fitted a 1600cc Hayabusa into the Force and started to spread his wings outside of Yorkshire. He entered the British Hillclimb Championship (BHC) presented by Avon Tyres for the first time in 2010 and was soon qualifying for run-offs and scoring decent points. Tenth place overall in the BHC were secured in both 2011 and 2012. Things were starting to look very good. Three frustrating years however followed and were punctuated by a big accident in the Force at Gurston Down’s super quick and notorious Hollow Bend in 2014. Concussion and a knee injury did not help matters either.
His switch to driving the GWR Raptor in 2016 proved to be a breakthrough for Richard with consistent points scoring throughout the season bringing the reward of 4th overall in the BHC and first of the smaller engined cars. 2017 was the year that things really started to happen. A first run-off victory at Bouley Bay in Jersey was quickly followed by a double win at the BHC rounds at Val des Terres Guernsey a few days later. For Richard this remains a real highlight of his Hillclimb career to date. The wins continued to come that season at both Wiscombe and Prescott, resulting in a best ever 3rd place finish overall in the BHC. A fifth and fourth place overall in the 2018 & 2019 seasons respectively, showed Richard remained at the top of his game.
The 2021 season proved to be a difficult one for Richard, his move to a supercharged engine resulting in a dip in reliability and for the first time in six years no top ten number. Much thinking has been done over the Winter which has resulted in a return to a normally aspirated Suzuki based Mistral engine in the back of the Raptor. Richard is really looking forward to the 2022 season and getting in amongst the big engined single seaters once again!
The two 2022 events at Richard’s local hill Harewood are no bad thing in the season ahead. With nearly 30 years of experience of driving the venue, allied with him being a driving school instructor will no doubt give Richard a great opportunity to add to his two BHC run-off wins at Harewood to date.
Richard has been collecting coin operated ex-amusement arcade Formula 1 cars for over four years. He has currently got five at home including a Ferrari, a Williams & a McLaren!
Richard’s personal best time at Harewood is a super quick 48.58 seconds, all achieved in a 1600cc engined car! His aim this season is to take this down in the 47’s This really would be a stunning achievement and could get him very close to the current outright record which stands at 47.81 seconds. Go for it Richard!